10/24/2005. Remarks by Walter 'Buzz' Natzke: "Manufactured in 1963 and named Lufttänzer (Airdancer) this aircraft belonged to my father, Robert Natzke, of Porterville, California, USA. Our primary adventures involved cumulus clouds. Dad and I used to watch for those days when the big, puffy, cumulus clouds were floating lazily across the sky of our southern San Joaquin Valley hometown of Porterville.
I'd get a call and hear Dad's voice on the line saying, "Let's
go shoot down the clouds". We'd get to the airport as quick as
we could and take off. Often, the clouds were higher than they looked
from the ground and it would take a fair while to get up to altitude.
Once there, we would fly around, over, under, through the clouds. But
it was a wonderful experience with my father.
Dad and I once had a near-death experience in her. We had gone
up for a short flight after an airshow in Porterville, the last day
when all of the "show" planes were leaving. While landing,
just after a P-51 had taken off on the runway ahead of us, the
wingtip vortices of the Mustang lingered on the runway.
When we were
at about 20 ft (6 m), the vortices got underneath the left wing. I was
able to accomplish a close inspection of the runway asphalt and
centerline out the right-hand of the bubble until Dad got hold of her
and brought us in safely. I'm glad the Bolkow has a stick as I
think that is what enabled Dad to manage the feat.
The canopy in the photo is a replacement of the damaged
original, and was made by Burt Rutan. Dad had met Burt when he
brought his Variviggen to the Porterville Moonlight Fly-in. At that
time Burt was in production on the VariEze kits, and was set up to
make their bubble canopies. So he customized a jig and made the new one."
The following text from Aviation Week is not unique to the aircraft
06/19/1961. The Bölkow Junior was first developed as the Andreasson
BA-7 by a ConVair engineer. Control stick is between the two